10 Top Event Planning Tips: How to Plan an Event on a Budget

top event planning tips how to plan an event on a budget business conference planner

Whether hosting a convention or new product launch, events are beneficial to your small business. They can help get your name out there and boost your reputation in the community.

However, business events are expensive. If you’re on a strict budget, you can’t allow these business events to eat into your profits.

The good news is, there are plenty of ways to incorporate smart event planning and cut down on events costs. To help you out, we’re going over ten tips on how to plan an event on a budget.


1. Create Your Budget First

Your first step is determining how much you can afford to spend on the event. Creating a detailed budget will allow you to track expenses throughout the planning process.

Once you determine how much you can spend, allocate dollar amounts for each component of the event. This may change slightly during the planning process, but it helps to start out with a baseline.

You’ll need to create a line-by-line budget to ensure you stay organized. Use a digital spreadsheet so you can make changes on the fly.  


2. Outline Your Expenses

As you create your budget, you’ll need to start breaking down different expenses. It’s time to start making some decisions about your event.

Create a list of every major component of your event that will cost money. Things like the venue, equipment, group transportation services, marketing, and staff usually cost the most.

Start getting quotes for all these services. This will allow you to determine if your budget is realistic.  If you can take care of some of these services yourself, do it.


3. Plan for Emergencies

Regardless of how much planning you do, there’s always the possibility of something going wrong. You may also end up needing more of something at the last minute.

To cut down on unexpected disasters, set aside some of your budget for emergencies. This will give you a cushion if you need extra financial help.

For example, the day before the event, you may find out the DJ needs two extra speakers. Your emergency fund will keep you from having to dip into business or personal savings.


4. Take on Sponsors

A great way to cut down on the cost of hosting an event is to get sponsorships. This could also help your event get more attention.

Approach local organizations and inform them about your event. Propose a sponsorship where they’d provide a product or service in exchange for promotion on signage and at the event.

Businesses that provide food and beverages are always good sponsorship options. Social media photo booths are also very popular right now.


5. Book the Right Venue

The venue you choose can make or break your event. Make sure you start checking out your options early on.

You’ll need to consider the size of your event first. It’s also important to think about things like parking, accessibility, and equipment compatibility.  

Shop around and get quotes early in the planning process. Make sure you discuss all the details such as insurance with the venue.

Consider local hotels when shopping around. Because you’re bringing them business, they may give you a discount on one of their event halls.  


6. Take a Creative Approach

When planning an event on a budget, it’s important to be creative. You also need to be as flexible as possible.

When it comes to the d├ęcor of your event, do as much of the legwork as you can. Thinking outside the box and getting other creative minds on board will result in a great-looking venue.

It’s also important to avoid setting your mind on specific things. If you’re not willing to be flexible, you’ll end up spending too much on something that doesn’t really improve the event.  


7. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

When working with vendors, always try to get the best price possible. You’ll find that many people are willing to come down on the cost.

When negotiating, talk to vendors about becoming your go-to supplier for all events. If they know they’ll get your business again, there’s a better chance you’ll get a good deal.  

Always look for ways of consolidating services. For example, a venue may offer a package deal that includes catering and music. See if they’ll cut you a discount if you opt for a bigger package.


8. Food and Beverage

This is another element that’s crucial to the success of an event. Food and drinks are often what people remember.

This is also another area where you can get creative. You don’t have to provide a fancy cuisine for the food to be a hit. Consider things like a taco bar, tapas, or a vegetarian menu.

Instead of having a full bar, offered featured cocktails. Talk to local breweries about sponsorship and get great beer for free.  

If you opt for a caterer, look for small, independent outfits instead of popular restaurants.


9. Marketing Your Event

Promoting your upcoming event is essential, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of ways to cut costs.

Make sure you understand your target audience. If you’re selling tickets, this will help drive sales and minimize marketing expenses.

Marketing your event on social media is a must. Create a simple landing page on your site and link your ads to it.

You can also create an email campaign to boost interest in your event.


10. Staying Organized

The more organized you are during the planning process, the less likely you’ll go over your budget. This requires effective event management.

You’ll need to organize a small event team. Make each person responsible for one or two components.

Don’t be afraid to use project management programs or apps to stay organized. If you plan on having events throughout the year, invest in a digital resource you like.


Learn How to Plan an Event on a Budget Today

You don’t have to break the bank to host a memorable event. All it takes is smart planning and thinking outside the box.

Use these tips on how to plan an event on a budget and get started today.

We hope you found this article on how to plan an event on a budget helpful. Feel free to browse the rest of our site for more business conference planning and event marketing articles.

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